Hong Kong is a busy commercial city, but surprisingly, with nature within its close embrace. For example, there is a place we can enjoy watching a dozen species of local butterflies dancing around blossoms of wild Lantana, with just a short ferry ride and leisurely hike away.
Talking about butterfly watching, it is more than a visual feast. We can learn more about the feeding, courting, and other behaviours of butterflies. Added to these are the understanding of nature such as the change in season and the assortment of flowers it brings. One example is the Chinese Privet with its fragrant flowers blossoming in summer. During winter, it is the Ivy Tree that draws our attention.
Besides field guides, it would make the experience more enjoyable by bringing along a pair of 6x or 10x binoculars and a magnifying glass with built-in light source. The latter would be useful when examining interesting close-up objects. Light colour and long sleeve clothing are essential attire for the outdoors. Black is to be avoided as it attracts mosquitoes.
Butterflies usually tolerate human beings who approach slowly, with crawling on the ground required for the wary kind. Even if disturbed, some butterflies may come back to the same flower.
The life span of butterflies is from a few weeks to three or four months for the wintering species, like the Tigers and Crows. These would congregate in dense woods well sheltered from the north winds and come out to bask in the warm sunny days. When disturbed, the sight of hundreds or thousands of butterflies taking to the air is quite a magnificent sight.
Well, the place we are talking about is the butterfly garden of Paul Lau located in Lamma Island. Paul is the author/photographer of two books* about Hong Kong butterflies. He will lead guided walks and give presentations to those who are interested in this natural beauty of Hong Kong.
For more information, just google “Kwok-leung Paul Lau” or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
* The two books are “Butterflies of Hong Kong” and “Butterflies and Moths of Hong Kong: Portraits With Flowers”